Unnecessary disability reassessments for pensioners to be phased out

Date published: 31 May 2019


Unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners will be phased out from today (Friday 31 May).

Work and Pensions Secretary of State Amber Rudd announced in March that people receiving Personal Independence Payment who have reached state pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review at 10 years.

Nearly 290,000 people of state pension age are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment.

From Friday, new claimants whose review would have been scheduled after they had reached state pension age will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at 10 years.

Ms Rudd said: “Stopping unnecessary Personal Independence Payment reviews for people over State Pension age is a positive change.

“It applies a common-sense approach to treating those whose conditions are unlikely to change, and we want to introduce it as quickly as possible for those who will benefit from it.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “We are determined to improve our support for disabled people, and stopping needless Personal Independence Payment reviews for pensioners is the right thing to do.

“This step means new claimants to Personal Independence Payment who reach state pension age before their review is due won’t have one unless they tell us their needs have changed, and the next step is to bring this in for all pensioners.”

This change is part of a wider package of measures announced by Ms Rudd, including combining the separate assessment processes for Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit into one integrated service from 2021.

The integrated service will simplify the assessment process for millions of people claiming health related benefits, reducing the need to submit information multiple times and for some people reducing the number of face-to-face assessments.

A small-scale test to explore the viability of a single assessment for Work Capability Assessments and Personal Independence Payment assessments will also be undertaken.

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